When you’re feeling completely overwhelmed and defeated, stuck and lost in negative thoughts and emotions and are whisked away by the procrastination train, what do you do?
Here’s some advice from Hay House author Jennifer Grace in my latest interview.
Hope this helps you slip into a wonderful New Year!
Quick links from the video:
Hey everyone, Lindsey Victoria here from A Life Well Balanced and you are watching Life with LV.
Thanks so much for tuning in.
If you feel like life is speeding by and you’re struggling with procrastination and overwhelm, then I think today’s guest is going to help you. I want to welcome Jennifer Grace, a transformational coach and Hay House author.
Lindsey: Thank you so much for joining me again.
Jennifer: You’re so welcome Lindsey. Thanks for having me!
Lindsey: We’re here at the House of Om in Miami, exactly the place we need to feel ohmm…
So we’re here at the end of the year. It’s a time for making decisions and we’re reflecting on everything. And the last time we talked, we were talking about clarity.
Lindsey: And becoming clear is so important. But I’ve found out that once you become clear, sometimes you feel like the world just starts crashing down with the amount of things that you have to do.
So what is your first strategy when those feelings of overwhelm start to kick in?
Jennifer: Yeah, so that’s like a big thing that happens for a lot of my students as they go through and they get all this clarity. When they’ve got this big vision and this big dream, the very thought of it just completely paralyzes them with fear. They feel those feelings of overwhelm.
Jennifer: And I think the first thing to explore is that overwhelm is just a thought. It’s just a state of being and it actually is a choice and people don’t realize that they have a choice to be overwhelmed and reactive or to just be responsive and calm. In every moment you get to choose – Are you going to be overwhelmed or not?
And here’s a perfect example. There’s two people, they’re both getting ready to go on this big trip to Europe. One of them, their friend calls and says “Hi, how are you?” and they say “Oh my God, I’m chicken with my head cut off. I’m so stressed. I have to get my tickets and pack and I’ve got so much to do. I’m so overwhelmed.”
And then the other friend picks up the phone and it’s the same trip to Europe, different person, and they’re like “Hey, can you talk?” They’re like, “No, not right now. I’ve got a lot to do and I’m going handle it.”
So it’s a choice in every moment, you can choose to be overwhelmed or not. Overwhelmed is just a thought. And actually it was funny because on the way over here, I was late to meet Lindsey again and I actually chose, it was a conscious choice, I’m like I’m overwhelmed. I’m choosing that right now. Because I felt bad that I was late for you and I knew that was my state of being that I was choosing that in the moment.
And then when I had the phone, I made a different choice to just say, “It’s fine, you’re six minutes away, you’ve all the time in the world to just get there.”
Lindsey: And that’s an important thing that “You have all the time in the world”. You teach that in your class and that comes up for me a lot when I feel like I’m stressed.
‘You have all the time in the world’.
Jennifer: Yes, and even if you don’t, just saying it is going to help you relax.
Lindsey: Yeah, you feel like you’re tricking yourself which is amazing.
When it comes to trying to make priorities, how do we organize ourselves? I’m sure lots of us are talking about New Year’s resolutions, those things that we want to do and make happen. How do we make sure that we’re going to actually get those things done and follow through?
Jennifer: I think that chunking things down is the best thing to do to really be clear in your vision and to map it all out and then reverse-engineer it. Ask yourself – “What are the three first things that I get to do that are going to move me forward in this vision?” And don’t think about the 20 million other things to get you there, but just backtrack it and then break them down even further into a measurable results action plan. And that is when you break it down into the How, the What, and the by When.
For example, when I wanted to become a Hay House published author and I wanted to write my first book, I was so overwhelmed at the thought of writing a book. I thought it would take me 7 years and I thought I’d never going to find the time to write a book because I have all these classes and my kid, and whatever.
Then I said, “Wait a minute. I’m never going to find the time. I have to create it”. Small chunks of time, super focused with no distraction, can breed extraordinary results.
So I thought, how, what, by when.
- What – was to become a published author.
- How – I decided that I would create my author hours and that would to be wake up from 5:30 to 6:30 a.m. to write only 500 words and I did the math that in four months that would be a 50,000 word manuscript.
- When – April 11, 2011.
So that was my how, what, by when. I just did one hour a day of uninterrupted, undistracted time and set my alarm to say, “Do you want it or not?”, in the morning at 5:30 am.
Lindsey: I love that! That’s a really another good way to trick your brain.
Jennifer: Totally. If you want it you’re confronted with a question like, Do you want to have the body or not? Then get your butt to the gym.
Do you want to leave your 9:00 to 5:00? Then work on your entrepreneurial effort in the morning, in the wee hours or on the weekends and skip your bottomless Bloody Mary brunch. It’s a choice.
Lindsey: Choices are your priorities
Jennifer: Very simple.
Lindsey: Very simple. That’s why I like talking with you. You make it simple.
Jennifer: Very practical and very simple. You get to also trick when you sit down for that creative hour and you’re ready to work on the project and then all of a sudden you’re like “I have to pee” and then you go pee and you come back and you’re like, “I think I’m thirsty” and then you go get a drink of water and you come back and you hear ding and you’re like “Let me just check this one email.”
The next thing you know, you’re on Facebook, liking cute little baby kittens and the whole hour is gone.
So you must first pee, get a drink of water, change the laundry, turn off the cell phone, turn off the browser. Turn off everything that you possibly can to make sure you’re not going to go, “Squirrel, shiny thing”.
You’ve got to protect yourself from yourself, the self-saboteur that lives inside of the soul.
Lindsey: Yes, wow. Those are some great tips. Actually, I want to think about wrapping up with a few out of your favorite routines that you do in the morning and the evening? It sounds like you probably have some really good ones.
Do you want to share any routines that will get you in the mood to be more productive?
Jennifer: Absolutely. I think just a daily practice of meditation and journaling, whether you’re looking for clarity, to overcome self-sabotage or just get yourself balanced and calm before you take on your day. It could be a simple practice of 5 minutes of reflective writing, 10 minutes of meditation just by following your breath all the way in and all the way out silently saying, “Here” on the inhale “Now” on the exhale.
A fun thing I’ve been having my students do is make little meditation stations. You can get a little TV tray box that you put remote controls in but take the remote controls out and put Lavender oil, a candle, a crystal, a journal, a pen, a little Gong and maybe some mala beads.
These are really great for meditation. This is like training wheels for meditation.
And then you can meditate wherever you are. Just say “Here” on the inhale, “Now” on the exhale and just move yourself along the beads. The combination of the breathing, counting and touching of the beads is so much concentration that you’re not thinking about “What am I going to do later or what didn’t I do before?” It just really grounds you.
So create a little meditation station, and it’s fun because you can take it in your bed, your chaise, outside, the beach. You go wherever you want to go.
Lindsey: Those are all amazing.
Jennifer: Yes, it makes a great gift! I don’t sell them yet, but I might.
Lindsey: Oh you might.
Jennifer: I just made that up, just now. JG mediation station.
Lindsey: I like this… a portable meditation station.
Jennifer: I love it.
Lindsey: Jennifer actually teaches a course, the Clarity catalyst and the Action catalyst, so if you’re looking for somebody to help guide you with procrastination and somebody to kick you up the butt to get things done, come check out jennifergrace.com.
Jennifer: The best place is jennifergrace.com/events, and that’ll list all my upcoming events. I have 8-week events, 2-hour events and all sorts of meditations and that’s the quick route to “What’s up with me”.
Check out our meditations. We’re here at the House of Om, in Upper Buena Vista in Miami.
Lindsey: She also has a book out, Directing Your Destiny. I think that’s a great book and a way to coach you through anything that you might be feeling stuck in.
Thank you so much for joining me, Jennifer. I really appreciate it.
I hope you guys have a great one. Thanks for tuning in and we’ll see you next time.
Lindsey is the author of A Life Well-Balanced, a lifestyle blog dedicated to helping people live a more balanced life – physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.